Assessment scales – NAPLAN

NAPLAN results are reported using 5 scales, one for each of the domains of reading, writing and numeracy, and 2 for the conventions of language domain (one scale for spelling, and one for grammar and punctuation). Each scale spans all year levels from Year 3 to Year 9.

Each of the NAPLAN assessment scales describes the development of student achievement from Year 3 through to Year 9 along a 10-band scale. By locating all student results on a single scale that describes their performance and skills, the NAPLAN scales provide significant information about the performance of students.

The NAPLAN scales are constructed so that any given score represents the same level of achievement over time. For example, a score of 700 in reading will have the same meaning in 2012 as in 2010. This enables changes in literacy and numeracy achievements to be monitored over time.

The use of a common scale that spans Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 allows both the status of, and gain in, individual student achievement to be monitored and reported throughout each student’s years of schooling. A key feature of the national scales is that they also enable the achievement of all students to be monitored. It is possible to gauge the achievement of the most able group of students and, at the same time, to pay attention to the group of students who have yet to reach the agreed national minimum standard.

The scale for each domain is divided into 10 bands to cover the full range of student achievement in the tests. The bands map the increasing complexity of the skills assessed by NAPLAN. Six of the bands are used for reporting student performance at each year level. The Year 3 report shows bands 1 to 6, the Year 5 report shows bands 3 to 8, the Year 7 report shows bands 4 to 9, and the Year 9 report shows bands 5 to 10. 

Proficiency scales – NAP sample assessments

One of the main objectives of the National Assessment Program is to monitor trends in performance over time. In order to do this, proficiency scales have been developed for each of the sample assessment domains. The same score on the scale represents the same level of achievement over time. The proficiency scales are not comparable between domains, and each is divided into 5 to 7 proficiency levels.

More information on the proficiency scales for each of the sample assessment domains is available in the NAP sample assessment public reports.

See also How to interpret for detail on the national minimum standards (NAPLAN) and the proficient standards (NAP sample assessments).